War in Ukraine: can France enter the conflict?

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A wave of panic swept through Europe. On Tuesday, October 15, an explosion occurred in eastern Poland, in Przewodow, a village near the Ukrainian border. The incident resulted in the death of two people.

Overnight, the Polish Foreign Ministry initially said it was probably a “Russian-made projectile”. Following this announcement, fear took hold of some French people who feared France’s entry into the war in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

However, the investigations carried out following this event led to a reversal of the situation on Wednesday 16 October. “Our preliminary analysis suggests that the incident was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense system missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missiles,” said Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General. , during a press conference in Brussels.

Thus, the tension seems to fall and the Elysée had in particular called for “the greatest caution” on the origin of the missile, warning against “the risks of significant escalations”. Conversely, kyiv claims to have a “Russian trace” of the missile that caused the death of the two Poles, as Oleksiï Danilov, secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, said on Twitter.

In France, this incident caused a wave of panic. But could France really go into open war with Russia?

“It is absolutely excluded”, affirms Gérard Chaliand, geostrategist and expert in armed conflicts. “The conflict is sufficiently complex and sufficiently broad not to imagine that we are going to arrive on a succession of chain of conflicts in Eastern Europe”.

For the specialist, France would have “no interest” in going to war. “The question does not even arise,” he continues. If a situation similar to the one taking place in Poland were to happen again and a member country of NATO or the European Union was hit by a Russian missile, “it would be accidental and it would not be a question of causing a complication to a conflict that is sufficiently complex as it is”, he analyzes.

Gérard Chaliand also gave his opinion on how the war in Ukraine could end.

For Gérard Chaliand, a chain succession of conflicts in Europe is not to be expected. “It’s a bit like raising the specter of nuclear weapons, it’s all a contest of fear.”, he analyzes.

“Given the consistency of what is happening, this conflict will remain limited to Ukraine proper and will in all probability end in a negotiation and not in a military victory”, he concludes, before affirming again that a direct participation of France in this conflict is “totally excluded”.